The Chicago Bulls entered Thursday's Game 6 against the Brooklyn Nets shorthanded, with starting point guard Kirk Hinrich sidelined by a calf injury and starting small forward Luol Deng hampered by an illness so severe that he reportedly spent time in a Chicago emergency room Wednesday undergoing tests to make sure he didn't have viral meningitis (he doesn't) and that lingered long enough for him to be sent home before Thursday's tip.
Bulls reserves Nate Robinson and Taj Gibson played Thursday, but they were battling flu-like symptoms, too. And in Nate's case, he was battling a churning stomach even on the bench, placing a trash cash beneath him during timeouts and draping a towel over his head to provide cover as he, um, booted:
As one might expect from the man responsible for the Bulls' remarkable triple-overtime Game 4 win, though, Robinson followed his boot by rallying, continuing to play as the Bulls worked to try to close out the Nets and move on to the second round. And he fought valiantly, chipping in 18 points on 7 for 15 shooting, including a 3 for 5 mark from 3-point range, along with four assists and three rebounds in 42 minutes of flu-ridden playing time. It wasn't enough, though, as the Nets held on for a 95-92 win that forces a deciding Game 7 at Barclays Center on Saturday night.
While the Bulls didn't lock down the win, we still want to note: We respect your effort, Nate. And we hope your aim on that trash can was good.
Hat-tip to Ride the Pine.